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Opera Saratoga New Digital Concert Series With Justin Austin

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Opera Saratoga New Digital Concert Series With Justin Austin

Opera Saratoga announced today the first performance events as part of the company's 60th Anniversary Season. On Thursday, November 19th, in partnership with Caffè Lena, Opera Saratoga will launch AMERICA SINGS, a monthly concert series featuring an array of diverse, internationally acclaimed artists.

The series amplifies the voices of artists from racial groups historically underrepresented on the concert stage and features a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular music. All concerts in this new series will be live streamed to the public for free, but viewers are encouraged to contribute through a virtual tip jar during each event to support both Opera Saratoga and the featured artists. All "tips" made during each concert will be split equally between Opera Saratoga and the featured artists, providing vital support to artists who have been financially impacted by the shutdown of live opera performances across the country. Each event will be live streamed on Caffè Lena's YouTube Channel, and the Facebook pages of both Opera Saratoga and Caffè Lena. AMERICA SINGS is presented with generous leadership support from Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and hospitality sponsorship from The Hampton Inn & Suites, Saratoga Springs.

Mezzo soprano Deborah Nansteel, who was featured in Opera Saratoga's 2018 production of The Consul, will open the series on Thursday, November 19th at 7pm with pianist Giovanni Reggioli. This first concert will feature music by George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rogers, Erroll Garner, Richard Wagner, and William Bolcom, along with a selection of traditional spirituals.

The December concert will take place on Wednesday, December 30th at 7pm, and will feature soprano Brandie Sutton with pianist and composer Damien Sneed, both debuting with the company at the turn of the new year. Damien returns to Opera Saratoga in January with baritone Justin Austin - an alumnus of Opera Saratoga's nationally acclaimed Young Artist Program - on Sunday, January 24th at 7pm. The series will continue through the spring of 2021, with additional concerts to be announced early next year.

Opera Saratoga's Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson created the new series as part of the company's efforts to address racial equity, and to provide artists with a platform to perform and to express how they are feeling in light of current events. "Our focus on BIPOC artists in this series is one of our first steps in a multi-pronged plan to address diversity and equity not only in our programming at Opera Saratoga, but in the organization as a whole," explained Edelson. "The onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the racial awakening that has been taking place across the country, and the polarizing political climate leading up to the election has energized artists. While many singers have not been able to perform for live audiences due to the pandemic, they are engaged and craving the opportunity to share the transformative power of song and the intersection between music and what is happening in our country with audiences. I have not programmed this series, other than to invite an incredible group of artists to join us in Saratoga Springs. Rather, I have asked each artist to curate their own concert - to share music with us that speaks to how they are feeling about America today. I cannot wait to hear what each artist brings to us as they share their personal experience and perspective through the power of their incredible voices."

To access each concert, and for additional information please visit:
www.operasaratoga.org/america-sings



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